District 300 starts superintendent search with public event

CARPENTERSVILLE – The search for District 300's new superintendent begins next week with a focus group that allows the public to share their vision on the ideal candidate to lead the Carpentersville-based school district.

But parents and other district residents may want to book the event – set for Feb. 12 – in their calendars now, since it will likely be the only opportunity for the general public to contribute to the search.

"The focus group is the main avenue, although we gladly will listen to anyone who feels strongly about the search," said board member Joe Stevens.

The district contracted Rosemont-based firm Hazard, Young and Attea for $18,500, plus travel expenses, to assist with the superintendent search.

Representatives from the firm will conduct various focus groups for the district throughout February, including ones with district board members and village officials from the Carpentersville area.

The focus groups are designed to help officials refine their national search for a replacement to Superintendent Michael Bregy, who accepted a job last month to become superintendent of North Shore District 112.

District board members hope to have a new superintendent named and hired before Bregy leaves for the Highland Park area at the end of May, Stevens said.

Unlike other area school systems, district officials don't plan on hosting future public events as the search unfolds and the pool of candidates is narrowed to a handful of finalists.

Woodstock District 200 recently hosted open candidate forums for the three finalists vying to replace its retiring superintendent.

But that public overture can deter some job seekers since their current employers would know they are applying for a new job, Stevens said.

"We want a broader candidate pool," he said.

Anyone living in the district can attend the Feb. 12 focus group to share what skills and characteristics they would like to see in the district's next superintendent. The one-hour event begins at 7 p.m. inside the district's Central Office, 300 Cleveland Ave., Carpentersville.

Residents can also take an anonymous survey on the district's website – www.d300.org – to share their thoughts on the search.

"We don't think we need a major shift with a new superintendent," Stevens said. "We just want to confirm that by the focus groups we are running and make sure everyone else thinks the same."